Moroccan Tea Culture

by Elena Popec 31. January 2012 23:47

Moroccan tea culture can be defined as the way loose leaf tea is prepared and consumed in Morocco itself. In many cases the tea that is used is green tea as opposed to another form of tea that can be found somewhere else in the region. Moroccan tea culture has become so popular that it has spread through other parts of North Africa as well as parts of Southern Spain.


In Morocco tea is thought to be a very important part of society and culture. Because of this the tea culture is generally described as an art form. The popularity of tea in this area is one of the major reasons why Morocco is one of the biggest importers of tea in the world. Considering the fact that tea is relatively new in Morocco it is hard to believe that it is so well respected. Tea was not introduced to the area until the 1700’s. By this time people were already developing tea traditions and culture in different countries all over the world. However, it was not until this time when trade really began to become popular between Morocco and Europe. By the mid 1800’s the tea industry in Morocco was really growing by leaps and bounds. In fact, there is even a story that royalty from Morocco was bribed with tea in sugar in exchange for releasing European prisoners. This shows just how sought after tea was in Moroccan culture in the early days.


To date, the main provider of tea to Morocco is still China. The fact of the matter is that it has been estimated that Morocco usually imports over 50-million dollars’ worth of Chinese tea every six months or so. This number is astronomical when you consider that the population of Morocco is much smaller than the population of other countries that the Chinese export tea to. Even though the population is small, Morocco is thought to be the first and best importer of Chinese green tea in the world.


One of the things that makes tea so unique in Morocco is that it is really rather difficult to prepare. The method of preparation is much more involved than in other parts of the world. For starters, there is generally a large lump of hard sugar used along with fresh mint. These are actually two of the most important ingredients there are. The tea itself is cleansed with boiling water that is thought to remove any imperfections from the tea as well as help it taste more pure. The tea leaves and the boiling water are combined together and boiled for a few more minutes in order to prepare for the sugar. The sugar and even the mint are now added and mixed together in a teapot with a long spout. Using a teapot with a long spout will allow the tea to be poured into multiple small glasses for consumption.


If you are interested in learning more about tea culture in Morocco then you can visit one of the tea houses that are indigenous to the area. Most large cities will have several tea houses that will serve you the best local teas as well as the most popular teas from around the world- including China. The tea houses in Morocco are general known for having a relaxing atmosphere where you can sit quietly and be alone with your thoughts. While you are there you may want to sample one of the local pastries or cookies that are baked to go along with the tea itself. These pastries are specially made to compliment the taste and aroma of some of the best tea in Morocco.


Tea in Morocco is also used as a way to get families to spend more time together. Tea will be served at most important family functions such as weddings and birthday parties. The fact that tea is present will signify that the event taking place is important. The host of the event will be responsible for making sure that everyone in attendance gets to enjoy the tea. Making sure that each person has tea is a way to show respect to your guests. This is a very important part of Moroccan tea culture. If you do not make sure that everyone is taken care of there is a chance that they will become insulted with you. In Morocco you have to make sure that you are observing tea traditions in order to guarantee you are well received and respected by your guests.

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Traditions

Vietnam Tea Customs

by Elena Popec 12. September 2011 10:48

In the Medieval Ages one of the court healers gave his patients the following advice: "Drink one cup of tea in the morning and glass of wine in the evening and you will forget doctors forever." Instructive meaning of this parable is that moderate and timely use of tea and wine are really beneficial.

People have long known that tea is not just a drink to quench their thirst, but rather a magic drink for good health. Therefore, a tea party for most cultures and times is perceived as a ritual of compelling with a vital force of Nature.

Vietnamese tea ceremony is a pleasant sign of hospitality with deep social importance. As in many other traditional tea cultures, Vietnamese tradition suggests that the environment where the ceremony takes place should bring people together, contribute to a relaxed conversation and cultural communication: the recitation of poetry, discussion of literature and art. If the conversation goes on everyday topic or discussion of issues of mutual interest, the guests always leave the last word for the master of the house. The whole idea of Vietnamese ritual of tea drinking is a maximum spiritual rapprochement between the participants of the ceremony combined with the pleasure of drinking tea. In general, Vietnamese tea drinking tradition is a bridge that brings people together and helps to better understand each other.


The traditional Vietnamese tea ceremony is a complex of all the preparations for it. Every element of the ceremony plays its meaningful importance in it:  where to drink tea, when and with whom, what kind of water to use, where in the house set the table for brewing tea, and which tea cups to use.


Tea has been cultivated in Vietnam from immemorial time. One of the most unique and exquisite Vietnamese tea customs is lotus flavored tea. During the Nguyen dynasty, tea drinking ritual was brought to the level of art. King Tu Duc who reigned during the Nguyen dynasty (1848-1883) is known for drinking tea flavored with lotus in a very special way. On moonlit nights, prior to his morning tea, King had his servants set their boats on the lake in the royal garden where the lotus flowers are in bloom and put a handful of tea into each blossom, then close them with ribbon. Tea leaves would absorb the living scent of the lotus petals. Then they will collect the dew from the lotus leaves due to belief that only water born between heaven and earth, can give the king strength for the day. Next morning the tea would be picked from the lotus lake and offered to the king as his morning refreshment. According to tea connoisseurs, tea grown on the hills of Thai Nguyen province is a signature of Vietnamese tea. It’s praised for its very unique taste and distinctive aroma.
Vietnamese custom of drinking tea in different provinces of the country was formed in different ways. For instance, South Vietnam region prefers green ice tea, flavored with flowers. For the population of the South, tea is, above all, a drink of refreshment. In central region of the country, where climate is mostly rainy, the most popular is tea made from fresh tea leaves slightly dried on the sun. This type of fresh brew unfolds a strong, natural taste and aroma. The north population prefers hot tea, brewed strong, natural green or flavored with flowers of jasmine, lotus, or chrysanthemum.

Tea flavored with freshly picked flowers mostly preferred by elderly, preparing such tea is a long process; older folks can always find time for that. Often rainwater gathered in mountain streams and waterfalls is used in this process. For special occasions some dew collected from lotus leaves can be used. Water is boiled in a copper vessel on the coals of palm tree. An earthenware teapot, tea cups and tea box are required for tea course. Fresh jasmine, lotus or rose petals are placed on a saucer and covered with a cup rinsed with hot water. This is a special way of flavoring tea with scent of freshly picked flowers. When tea is ready, it’s poured into a cup that absorbed a subtle fragrance of flowers.  Skillful tea connoisseurs always keep tea as a subject of conversation, comment and compliment it, just like some do at wine tasting.

Tea drinking is a customary signature practice at wedding and engagement ceremonies. Marrying couples use the ritual of drinking tea at the wedding ceremony to express their affection for each other.

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Traditions

Russian Tea Drinking Tradition

by Elena Popec 7. September 2011 09:32

Russian tea drinking tradition, along with some other Russian customs, has long been a hallmark of the country. Nevertheless, to describe the attributes of Russian tea drinking: samovar (meaning "self-boiler" in Russian), loose leaf black tea, pancakes, jam, cubed sugar, sliced lemon, cups in cup holders, porcelain set… Unfortunately, very few people drink tea in accordance with this attributes, because almost no one these days uses a samovar.

This old Russian tea drinking tradition becomes history, but still lives and breathes in Russia and around the world where Russian emigrants make their homes. Russian literature often invokes the samovar to symbolize Russian hospitality. Gathering around the table by a samovar with family and friends evokes a sense of cosines and comfort, which is an important element in our busy lives. Let me just try to formulate some of the characteristics of tea drinking, which can be classified as specifically Russian.

A real Russian tea party requires a porcelain tea set; a classical Russian tea set is "Cobalt net" of the Imperial Lomonosov’s Porcelain Manufactory. These sets are often sold in duty free shops at the international airports of Russia and in numerous souvenir shops. Contrary to popular opinion, tea glasses even in the most exclusive holders are not the most accurate representation of the Russian tea drinking tradition. Since the 18th century, people who understood the sense in life and in tea-drinking, tried to get the porcelain set.

A very specific feature of Russian tea-drinking is samovar, a vessel with boiling water. In Russian tradition, tea leaves brewed in the porcelain pot, which is placed on the top of the samovar keeping the brew hot. In most major tea drinking cultures, Chinese, Japanese and English, tea leaves steep, a brew is poured in a cup and drunk. In Russia, a brew is diluted with hot water directly in a cup, that’s why besides the standard tea set, tea party in Russia involves a samovar with boiling water.

Another important part of Russian tea-drinking tradition is a simple and obvious lemon, cut in thin slices, not wedges, since circles look beautiful on a plate and in a cup. In fact, the whole world believes that tea with lemon is a Russian invention, often called "Russian tea". 

However, the most important feature of a Russian tea party is tea itself. Of course, it should be black tea. Historically, it was Chinese tea, such as Keemun or a blend based on it "Russian Caravan" or “Russian Samovar”. Chinese tea was drunk in Russia for three centuries, and only in the 20th century adjusted traditionally established tea preferences. Nowadays, most Russians prefer a rich aroma and strong taste of Ceylon tea over subtle taste of Chinese teas. Often, both teas are served at the party, Chinese in respect to century’s old tradition and Ceylon in respect to modern tea taste.

When at the table served with samovar full of boiling water, porcelain tea set, two teapots (with Chinese and Ceylon tea), a plate with a stack of pancakes, a few fresh baked pies (with apples, cherries, cheese, cabbage and all sorts of fillings…), several kinds of jam (strawberry, cherry, blueberry, lingoberry, cloudberry, raspberry…), honey, condensed sweet milk, sliced lemon and cubed sugar, one will understand what is a true Russian made happiness. Laughing

Tea Production

by Elena Popec 25. August 2011 10:56

Within all tea growing regions, merely a top leaf bud and the next two leaves, the youngest ones of a spout are picked. More mature leaves have an undesirable impact on the quality of the processed teas. In the mountains, therefore cooler regions, tea naturally matures slower. This lets the especially high-quality, aromatic characteristics to envelop. The actual cropping period also has a tremendous influence on the quality of the tea. The plucking necessitates a lot of proper care along with skills set and is commonly performed by women. The standard plucking volumes are roughly 35 to 53 lb of green leaves a day which produces 9 to 13 lb of processed tea. A few times per day, the green leaves are delivered to the manufacturing facility in the tea garden. The green leaves are still absolutely neutral in fragrance and initially will be handled in the tea production line, going through numerous production procedures, in order to generate a savory final product.


Processing


Tea gets processed on the plantations in the country of origin and after that, exports in its finished form. The most essential steps of the procedure with respect to orthodox tea production (which may be utilized for the manufacturing of any kind of tea desired in contrast to the subsequently described CTC production) are: withering, rolling, fermenting, drying and sorting into leaf and broken grades of different sizes.


Withering


When the freshly picked leaves arrive at the manufacturing facility, they are weighed and the quantity is documented. After that, the withering process is initiated where the moisture content of the leaves is diminished by approximately 30% in order to make them tender and workable for the following step - rolling. The withering takes place in a specific withering troughs 80 to 100 feet long that are usually stringed with a wire grid and ventilated by big fans. The leaves are distributed out on the grid. The air flow that moves through the ventilators can easily be heated up when needed due to greater moisture content of the leaves. The withering process requires 12 to 18 hours.


Rolling


Hereafter, the withered green leaves are thrown in the rolling equipment, which commonly consists of a pair of big, hefty metal plates that are spinning in opposition direction to each other and are bruising the leaves, opening their cells, providing the cellular juice into contact with the oxygen in the air flow. This process begins the fermentation step as well as the occurrence of the essential oils that then establish the aroma and the flavor of the teas. Now rolled tea will begin fermentation in a dedicated fermentation room. A lot of tea production facilities use so-called "rotor vane" equipment, a sort of shredder that further processes the leaves. The leaves move throughout a slowly spinning screw conveyor via a tube where presence of oxygen speeds up the fermentation process.


Fermentation


The fermentation is an oxidation and tanning process of the cellular essential oils, which are produced during the rolling process. Intended for the fermentation, the leaves are spread out on workstations in 4 inches layers. Advanced tea producing factories humidify the area where the fermentation takes place. During the fermentation, which usually takes 2 - 3 hours, tea leaves alter their color that progressively turns into a copper-red. This color is observed in infused tea leaves. The "tea maker" is required constantly measure the degree of oxidation, especially with regard to the aroma of the wet leaves. The superior quality of the end product depends on the accurate fermentation.


Drying


The fermentation is completed when the ideal grade of fermented product is achieved. In other words as soon as tea develops its typical fragrance and the copper-red color, the drying process begins. So-called tiered dryers are used. They are powered with wood or oil. Tea moves through the dryer on a conveyor belt. The beginning temperature is about 190 degrees that helps to bind the cellular oils solidly to the leaves. Towards the end of the 20 minutes long drying procedure, the temperature decreases to 100 degrees and the humidity content to approximately 6%. Later on, whenever tea is brewed, the essential oils that stuck to the dried leaves are dissolved in the hot water and produce the aromatic and stimulating beverage.


Sorting


The black tea produced via the drying process or the so-called raw tea, now will be sieved by a variety of shaking mechanical sieves with different sieve sizes, in which the typical leaf grades are separated  from each other.
Based on the sieve sizes, sorting typically yields the following grades: leaf tea, broken tea, fannings and dust. Typically, the smaller the leaf, the stronger the infusion.
Tea is a natural product, which is created by reducing its moisture content. It should be stored in a cool and dry area. Tea maintains its original flavor when kept in a tightly sealed container, away from powerfully smelling food items such as spices.


Green Tea Production


Green Tea differs from black tea merely by not being fermented, other words not altered by oxidation. The manufacturing process is generally the same until the end of the withering process. Throughout green tea production, tea tannins and enzymes are destroyed by steaming or roasting after the withering. Before the rolling starts, tea is "steamed” or "pan-fried" and then rolled and dried. This guarantees that the leaves will not change their color, they will remain olive-green. The color of infusion varies depending on the kind of green tea, cultivation region, and plucking period and can be anything from light yellow to dark green.


CTC-Production


This term means: crushing, tearing, curling.

This technique starts by withering the green leaves, then rolling them once before they are torn in the CTC machines in between thrones rollers. This method makes sure that the cells are broken up more extensively and rapidly compared to the orthodox tea production. CTC tea has the most intensive color and greater yielding. The stems and leaf ribs are removed, only the cut "flesh" of the green leaves is processed further. After this process, tea is delivered into the fermentation area. Depending on the preferred leaf size, this procedure is repeated numerous times.
During the CTC-Production, primarily fanning is made, no leaf teas and only very few broken teas. Therefore, CTC teas are very appropriate for tea bags. In the present day, 50% of tea produced in India and almost 100% in Kenya by using the CTC technique. In Darjeeling, however, only orthodox tea is manufactured.

The most essential grades are:
BP = Broken Pekoe
PF= Pekoe Fannings
PD = Pekoe Dust

Chai Tea Pertaining To Your Digestive System

by Elena Popec 21. August 2011 11:18

Legend, along with history, advocate that Chai Tea was in fact created by sovereign of India who held his recipe ingredients secret and sacred. Actually, chai tea is truly a remedy of Ayurveda, the knowledge of which goes as far back as five thousand years. The term chai doesn't relate to a specific kind of tea but the way in which it is actually made and served. As a rule, each and every household might have their very own recipe, ingredients such as, herbs and spices to combine with tea leaves. Chai recipes took its origin from obtainable ingredients on the market. This typically is a remarkably powerful combination which has countless therapeutic and wellness providing qualities. Among all these benefits associated with drinking chai frequently is to boost the digestion, calm and de-stress the digestive system, improve  toxins excretion, increase fat burning capacity, and reduce cravings.

Researcher, without a doubt, are discovering tea as the primary ingredient for Chai, it’s a superb resource of anti-oxidants, beneficial to the cardiovascular system, in addition to lowering blood cholesterol levels. Furthermore, various herbs are blended with the tea leaves so it can have its authentic flavor as well as therapeutic properties. It's not one particular herb or spice that helps with digestive function but the mixture of several performing together.

Chai tea, just like the body system, is a homogenous combination of numerous ingredients performing and responding jointly in order to create tranquility. The constituents once steamed in water acquire and increase the flavors among each other right before fusing together to create one healthy and balanced decoction one can enjoy.
 
Chai reveals a unified mixture of all five tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and spicy) identified by the taste buds which are always pleasing to the other senses.

As mentioned earlier, there are literally limitless combinations of herbs and spices that may be utilized to produce Chai. Of course, there are a number of basics widely used in most, from the family recipe to store acquired. A description of components in many chai teas and their holistic applications can explain why limitless combinations may be utilized as a remedy to various disorders and conditions, most particularly those connected to digestive function.

Black Pepper is one of the initial elements to help inducing the body since it works along with the taste buds in addition to their connection to the stomach. The taste buds signal the stomach to excrete hydrochloric acid that is required for digestion of proteins as well as other food components.  When food goes partly digested by the stomach this might remain inactive for several hours. This leads to symptoms associated with upset stomach and/or heartburns. Whenever undigested food proceeds into the intestinal tract it starts to rot. The intestines are designed for absorbing nutrients not digesting them. As the food begins to rot it results in intestines being an ideally suited place for gas generating, diarrhea causing, and even constipation triggering intestine bacteria. The external layer of the peppercorn aids activate metabolic process and even breaks down existing fat tissue.

Cinnamon is contemplated to be one of the most recognized spices on the planet. There was a period when it was in fact looked at as such a commodity that it was used as a sort of currency. It is discovered in almost every Chai blend. Cinnamon helps digestive function by simply soothing the stomach, combating bacteria and infection. It has been demonstrated to improve production of blood insulin and offering anti-nausea and diarrhea properties.  Cinnamon additionally improves the benefits of other herbs and connects the gap between flavors.

Fennel has also been well recognized for hundreds of years by the Greeks, Egyptians, and Eastern civilizations for its culinary and healing properties. It is one of those super foods as it provides Vitamin C & B, promotes liver, gall bladder, and spleen function, as well as supporting  food digestion by scattering flatulence producing bacteria.  Fennel is also an excellent source of fiber, therefore it aids to maintain the large intestine and colon healthy.

Ginger is the only root utilized in remedies as well as cooking. It possesses a mild, fresh flavor that assists settle the stomach. The gingerols and shogaols discovered in Ginger root have been demonstrated to relieve the effects of motion sickness.

Cloves are usually found in a variety of Chai Teas. They are highly regarded for their capability to stimulate the digestive fire. Cloves are also beneficial for soothing the throat and mouth and are often included into oral sprays for such purposes.
 
Chai can be served hot or cold. Usually it is offered with milk and honey. The milk softens the taste of the various robust herbs and the honey balances the spices.

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Chai

Japanese Tea Ceremony and Zen Buddhism Are Inseparable

by Elena Popec 20. August 2011 19:12

“Chanoyu should be made with the heart,
Not with the hand.
Make it without making it,
In the stillness of your mind.”

- Hamamoto Soshun -

Japanese tea ceremony is a central point of the concept of attitude, which the Japanese call “cha-no-yu”. Being the basis of the whole aesthetic doctrine itself “chanoyu” roots in Zen Buddhism. Perhaps, the initial period of a tea ceremony in Japan was religious in nature.


No one knows exactly when tea attained Japan. For centuries, Buddhist monks included tea in their spiritual practice to stay awake during meditation. Tea makes the mind fresh and alert, not intoxicated. Perhaps, the monks were the first who brought it to Japan. Natural tea ceremonies are practiced in Zen Buddhist monasteries, stands apart from the art, which is now in fashion.


Zen and tea ceremonies combine the constant striving for simplification. Zen eliminates everything that is unnecessary on the way to acknowledgement of ultimate reality; tea ceremonies manifest simplicity in real life and in the tearoom. Tea ceremonies celebrate aestheticism of primitive purity, finds perfection in the imperfect, embraces the discordance in order to achieve concordance… The idea is unifying with nature. Tea ceremonies embody its ideal in a small room, which however, decorated and furnished tastefully. Zen also seeks to strip off all the husks of artificiality, which humanity used to disguise itself to seem perfect. 

Tea ceremonies symbolize the simplification in the tea room built, for example, under an old pine tree as a part of nature, rather than creation of human hands. The key principle of the ceremony is the perfect obedience of the original idea of eliminating the unnecessary.

Tea ceremonies are closely related to Zen, not only in its practical development, but mainly in the preservation of the spirit in which it is impregnated. It’s more than an elaborated ritual. There are four basic principles of the philosophy of tea: harmony, respect, purity and tranquility (wa, kei, sei, jaku).They had become the embodiment of tea ceremony as a whole procedure:  its meaning, spirit and enthusiasm, as well as its separate components, down to the smallest detail. Each of the four principles can be in the abstract and philosophical sense, as well as in the concrete and practical.

Harmony – tea ceremony is the way of leading oneself into harmony with nature;


Respect – is a polite, cordial relationship with others;


Purity – is purity of the mind, heart and intentions. This state of purity can be reached through five senses: hearing , when hearing the sound of water; sense of sight, when see the beauty of flowers; sense of touch, when touching the utensils; sense of smell when smelling the fragrance of the flowers and sense of taste when sipping tea.


Tranquility – is the apogee of all three preceding principles. Tranquility is a harmony of the moment, acceptance of the surrounding, respect for people and things with purity of intentions, peace of mind and appreciation of nature.


From the perspective of Zen Buddhism, the Japanese tea ceremony can be viewed as a way to achieve satori - enlightenment associated with awareness of the triviality and unimportance of worldly vanity.

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Japanese culture

Can Green Tea Promote Natural Hair Growth?

by Elena Popec 15. August 2011 08:48

The battle against hair loss is yours to win. For centuries we have been fighting hair loss with countless solutions. There are toupees, wigs, and now there are even surgeries and hair plugs. There are dozens of methods advertised, tons of varied solutions offered.

Hair loss
   
For those who suffer from hair loss, it may lead to low self esteem and less self confidence and self assurance. It may alter your positive self image and lead you to involve yourself less in social interactions.
   
And with all these miracle cures that are advertised, the choice of one to aid you can be overwhelming. Each method makes claims to lead to a full head of hair, but how can you be sure they will work for you? Do any of them work? Are there any that truly prevent hair loss?

Green tea and how it can help

   
Loose leaf green tea, in addition to its multitudes of other health benefits, may prevent hair loss. Studies show that it may help in the battle against baldness.
   
Green tea has many antioxidants and other types of nutrients that help to improve your health. It can help to fight off cancer cells, fight off diseases, and can help to slow down the aging process. It can alleviate stress and anxiety, help to relax you, and lead to a stronger, healthier life. It can fight off diabetes, depression, cardiovascular disease, and help to lower cholesterol and help you lose weight. Its positive effects are almost endless.
   
Live a longer, fuller life by regularly drinking green tea, and it may even help you to look younger by fighting off the effects of aging such as hair loss. It contains a compound called epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, which has been studied and shown to have marked benefits on general health.
   
Research shows that nutrients in green tea help to suppress the production of various compounds that cause inimical health effects in the body and can lead to cancer, diseases, arthritis, and are also implicated in causing hair loss. In this way, green tea works to fight against baldness.
   
Studies also show that high amounts of the compounds in green tea increase a hormone which may help to stimulate hair growth. The EGCG compound has been tested and in some studies results in increased hair growth.
   
Studies also show that green tea consumption can help with eradicating dandruff. Green tea can help to interfere with and a protein that can cause skin cells to die off too quickly, leading to dandruff. It can be a healthier, more natural way to help cure this condition, rather than using products packed with harmful chemicals. Green tea can have other beneficial effects on skin and can help to alleviate inflammation.
   
Green tea contains lots of nutrients and antioxidants that can help improve your hair health by strengthening it and softening it, bringing out your natural beauty.
   
Green tea is a tasty beverage that can help with more than just hair problems. It is a healthful drink that also tastes delicious, and can help to enhance, lengthen, and improve your life with all of its health benefits.

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Health Benefits

Loose Leaf White Tea

by Elena Popec 3. August 2011 11:41

Loose leaf white tea is loaded with health benefits, and is completely scrumptious. It has the most delicate flavor of all the tea types, of which there are four. (Green tea, oolong tea, and black tea being the other three.) It comes from the same plant as the other three types of tea. The plant is called camellia sinensis, but the difference between the teas is in the processing. White tea is the least oxidized of the tea types, in fact is not oxidized at all.

Is white tea better than green tea?
   
White tea is less oxidized than green tea. These means many things. It means that this type of tea has more antioxidants and nutrients than the other three types of teas. It also means that the flavor is the most delicate of the other three types. It’s an interesting and unique tea and definitely worth experiencing. It can be an adventure to add and to mix different flavors such as fruits to loose leaf white tea and see what unique combinations can do to the taste. Many fruits can help to enhance the flavor.
   
This type of tea has also been researched, and studies have shown that it has many benefits to your health. It has effects that may help to prevent cancer, and it may also help improve the strength of your immune system.

Loose leaf vs. tea bags
   
Loose leaf tea will always yield more benefits than tea bags. Tea bags have been processed and pounded to the point of leaving little more than dust. They are almost flavorless, and the chemicals used in the processing can leave the tea not only devoid of nutrients, but actually harmful to you. Going with loose leaves is the obvious choice.
   
Loose leaves will yield the most wonderful aroma, and the best flavor, and the most health benefits. When brewing this tea, the water is able to move around the leaves, and brings out the best flavor.
   
Loose leaf white tea contains catechin antioxidants and polyphenols, among other types of nutritional compounds that are excellent for you.

White tea and flavor
   
White tea is light in color, and has an airy, almost elusive aroma. Its flavor is subtle, but fruity, much less vegetal than green or oolong tea. It has a light and mild taste, which can be enhanced with fruits or nuts. It can be a great tea to start off trying, because of its airy, fruity flavor.

How to brew white tea
   
To brew loose leaf white tea, heat up some fresh water, but don’t bring it to a boiling point. Let it steam, and pour in a large infuser to give the leaves plenty of room so that the most flavor can be brought out. Letting it steep from anywhere between three or five minutes will give you the perfect cup of tea.
   
It’s a great experience, and worth trying. If you enjoy this type of tea, start adding a few cups of it to your daily life. It’s a delicious way to add some more health benefits to your healthy lifestyle.

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White Tea

Oolong Tea to Treat Eczema

by Elena Popec 2. August 2011 12:57

Oolong tea, sometimes called wu long tea, and known to mean “black dragon,” is one of the four main types of tea. Among these types of course there are countless different varieties. Black, white, and green tea are the other three main types of tea. They all are harvested from the camellia sinensis plant, but they are processed quite differently. It is in this processing that they acquire their very different flavors, aromas, and health benefits.

The oxidation process
   
White tea is the least processed of the teas, and undergoes no oxidation. Green tea undergoes a small amount of oxidation, and black tea undergoes the most of this process. Oolong is oxidized more than green tea, but less than black tea. The length of time it is left to oxidize will change its flavor and aroma, and it can vary from being more similar to the taste and flavor of green tea, to being closer to the fragrance and taste of black tea. Due to the complexity of the processing for this type of tea, it is varied in flavor.

Oolong tea is varied
   
Oolong can vary tremendously depending on the processing. Some types of this tea take a day to process, while others can be processed in the course of only hours. The varieties this creates leads to a unique and intriguing type of tea. Even subtle differences in the complex process of making oolong tea can have an impact on its flavor, and so there are many different flavors of oolong to experience.
   
It is a complex and delectable tea, and worth trying and experimenting with the tastes of the different types of oolong tea.

The effects on eczema
   
Loose leaf oolong tea, in addition to being varied in flavor and a delectable, creative type of tea, may help to treat eczema. Studies show that drinking oolong tea may help to relieve the symptoms of eczema on the skin when a person is experiencing an outbreak. It may reduce the inflammation and itching, or even eradicate these irritating symptoms within a few days.

What is eczema?
   
Eczema is a condition that affects the skin and results in itchy, irritated red patches on the epidermis (skin). It is unknown what causes this condition, but it may be worsened by dry skin and cold weather, among other things such as stress. Eczema in itself can cause other problems, it can lead to social anxiety, low self-esteem, changes in self-image, and can alter your self-confidence and self assurance. It can impede on your normal daily life, and it is no fun to go through the outbreaks with this condition.

What research says
   
Oolong tea has been researched on treating eczema, and it does take a good amount of the tea to affect the outbreak. However, after drinking about a liter of this type of tea every day, some people may show significant improvement and may reduce or completely eradicate inflammation and itching.
   
Why does oolong tea have this effect? This tea contains antioxidant polyphenols that have specific properties that help to alleviate allergic reactions and to quiet an unnecessary immune system response.

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Health Benefits

Losing Weight with Oolong Tea

by Elena Popec 1. August 2011 17:20

Oolong tea, which is also known by the name wu long, is a unique type of tea. It is widely consumed in the East, and just starting to become more popular in the West. It comes from the camellia sinensis plant, as do the other three main types of teas. (Those being white tea, green tea, and black tea). It is processed a bit differently though. It goes through an oxidation process that oxidizes it more than green tea, but less than black tea.white

Oolong and its flavor

In this way, its flavor varies between being closer to black tea to being closer to green tea. It’s delicious, but depending on the type you may have a variety of flavors and oolong experiences. In addition to its complex and varied flavor, oolong tea has health benefits. It contains antioxidants and vitamins that help to improve your health.

Weight loss and oolong tea

Oolong tea may also help you to lose weight, and keep you slim. While green tea has more proven beneficial effects on your health, it is also studied and researched far more extensively than oolong tea. And while perhaps oolong tea may not have the same effects as green tea, it does have tons of nutrients and vitamins that are excellent for you. And oolong tea can help you to lose weight.

Benefits of weight loss
   
And weight loss can be important to you for many reasons. There are more than cosmetic reasons for losing weight. Though it is important to feel comfortable in your own body. The condition of being overweight or obese can lead to social discomfort and anxiety, and even lower self-esteem and self-confidence. By reaching a goal weight you can increase your confidence level and your self-assurance.
   
But beyond these reasons, reaching a healthy weight can help to lower your cholesterol and prevent against cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

Boost your metabolism
   
There is scientific evidence which supports the belief that oolong tea can help to boost your metabolism. In this way, you can burn off more calories at a faster rate. This is one of the things that weight loss diet pills and crash diets advertise; how much they can increase your metabolism. An increased metabolism is known to be extremely beneficial in the weight loss process.

Burn off fat
   
Loose leaf oolong tea can also improve the process your body uses to burn off fat. Some research suggests that it may help to burn off twice the amount of fat than is normally burned off by your body. It can also block the absorption of fat by your body. By preventing the fat from being absorbed, it prevents it from becoming fatty cells in your body. Oolong tea can help to slim your waist by burning off belly fat. And it can lower your LDL, or the bad type of cholesterol.
   
But even after you reach your goal weight, how do you keep the pounds off? One of the most difficult part of a healthy lifestyle is maintaining a healthy weight once you’ve reached it. Oolong tea can actually help you to keep the weight off. Regular consumption will help keep you burning off fat on a long term basis.

 

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